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Physical Therapy Reduces Pain for Patients with Acute or Chronic Pain

Physical Therapy Reduces Pain for Patients with Acute or Chronic Pain

by Stephanie Meadows

Many people experience pain at some point in their lives, whether it is acute or chronic. Whether it’s a short-lived pain from a sporting injury or long-term pain from conditions like arthritis, pain can be difficult to live with and manage.

There are two stages of pain that can affect the body, known as acute and chronic pain. The stage of pain you have depends on the amount of pain that has been present and the time it takes to go away. Acute pain is defined as usually lasting less than four weeks, while chronic pain lasts more than three months or even longer.

Sports medicine doctor’s look at a multidisciplinary approach to pain management when helping a patient with pain. Whether that be medicine like anti-inflammatories, injections, blocks, physical therapy, or narcotic medicines. Surgery is usually seen as a last resort.

However, when surgery is necessary, the post-surgical process makes all the difference towards how much pain you are in and how long it may last. Following a surgical procedure or joint replacement, a physical therapist uses the means of physical therapy to decrease pain for patients with arthritis or lower back pain.

Physical therapy has also been known to improve function for patients experiencing hip, knee, shoulder, and lower back pain. It can often be an effective method in reducing pain for patients with conditions such as arthritis and tendonitis. The rehabilitation team at Florida Sportsmedicine and Orthopedics uses exercises, physical therapy, and other modalities to help reduce pain for patients with acute or chronic pain.

It is important to have an appropriate evaluation of where the pain is coming from and why. At Florida Sportsmedicine and Orthopedics, Dr. Talkington tailors an overall treatment plan to the patients and their specific issues. Depending on the patient’s situation, physical therapy can be very effective for managing their chronic pain. While prescription narcotic medications can be used to treat pain, due to the addictive nature and adverse side effects of these drugs, physical therapy can be used in conjunction with other methods to help combat this opioid epidemic.

Call Florida Sportsmedicine and Orthopedics at (850) 763-0346 for an appointment with Dr. James Talkington, or you can request one online



Arthroscopic Surgery Can Get Back You to the Field Faster

Arthroscopic Surgery Can Get Back You to the Field Faster

by Stephanie Meadows

The word arthroscopy, comes from the Greek words, “arthro,” meaning joint, and “skopein,” meaning to look. Arthroscopy is a surgical procedure done by an orthopedic surgeon to accurately visualize, diagnose, and treat problems inside a joint. This minimally-invasive technique allows the surgeon to better see inside a patient’s joint, and administer treatment more accurately and directly.

During a procedure called arthroscopic surgery, the surgeon makes a small incision in the patient’s skin and inserts an instrument called an arthroscope, a type of endoscope, that is equipped with a small camera lens and light, to magnify and illuminate the structures inside the joint. Arthroscopic procedures can be used to repair or clean up a damaged area, or to simply get a front and center view inside the joint.

With development of better instrumentation and surgical techniques, many conditions can now be treated arthroscopically. This procedure is often performed on patients who need treatment for damage and degeneration to the inside of a joint, due to conditions such as osteoporosis or arthritis.

When compared to open surgery, arthroscopy is advantageous and beneficial in many ways. During arthroscopy, the joint does not have to be fully opened. For example, during a knee arthroscopy, only two small incisions are made, one for the arthroscope and one for the surgical instruments to be used in the knee cavity to remove or repair any damaged tissue.

Due to minimally-invasive surgery technology, arthroscopic procedures reduce recovery time for patients, and may increase the rate of surgical success due to less trauma to the connective tissue. This procedure is especially useful for professional athletes, who frequently injure their joints and require fast healing times, to get them back onto the field as soon as possible. There is also less scarring, both inside and out, due to smaller incisions and instruments. 

Although the incisions made during arthroscopic surgery are small, and pain in the joint that underwent surgery is minimal, it still takes several weeks for the joint to fully recover. A specific rehabilitation program such as physical therapy may be suggested to speed your recovery time and protect future joint function.

Remember though, that people who have arthroscopy can have many different diagnoses and preexisting conditions, so each patient’s arthroscopic surgery is unique, and results may vary.

To learn more about arthroscopic surgery, and how it can help you, call Florida Sportsmedicine and Orthopaedics at (850) 763-0346 to request an appointment or request one online.

Your Liaison to Worker's Compensation

Your Liaison to Worker's Compensation

by Stephanie Meadows

An injured worker going through the workers’ compensation process will likely be tasked with attending doctors’ appointments, scheduling and attending hospital visits, obtaining necessary medical equipment and prescription medications, and participating in physical therapy. The main goal for this process is to get you healthy and back to work, or to determine if there is a physical concern that will keep you from resuming work activities.

In some cases, the workers’ compensation insurance carrier may employ a nurse case manager to assist the injured worker with these tasks.  It is important that the injured worker understands his or her rights during the workers’ compensation process, and the limits of the nurse case manager’s role.

The majority of nurse case managers are registered nurses. They may, with the patient’s permission, attend doctors’ and hospital appointments, and communicate with the patient and the authorized physician about the patient’s treatment. A nurse case managers role also includes:

  • Helping an injured worker to obtain the medical care that he or she needs.
  • Serving as a liaison between all parties involved in the workers’ compensation process, including doctors, the injured worker, the employer and the insurance company.
  • Providing information to an insurance adjuster regarding doctors’ visits and treatment authorization.

For the physician, the case manager is incredibly important, because they can facilitate the accurate communication between the patient and treating physician.

Florida Sportsmedicine and Orthopaedics is a leader in diagnosing and treating work-related injuries. Our board-certified orthopedic surgeon and staff understand the Florida workers’ compensation system, and our treatment plans focus on the injured employee to obtain maximum medical improvement (MMI) as quickly as possible.

Our practice has experience and expertise in treating the full spectrum of work-related injuries. We take pride in our reports and our timely communications, and aim to maintain the utmost level of professionalism for both the employer and the employee.

Our program features:

  • Same-day or next-day appointments 
  • Instant response to referring physicians
  • Prompt evaluation and treatment of work-related injuries
  • Timely work status reports
  • Concise exam notes and credible reports generated quickly after the exam
  • Effective communication with employers, adjusters, and case managers

For more information about workers’ compensation, call Florida Sportsmedicine and Orthopedics at (850) 763-0346 to request an appointment or request one online.

How Physical Therapy can Help MS Patients

How Physical Therapy can Help MS Patients

by Stephanie Meadows

According to the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation, it is estimated that more than 400,000 people have Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Multiple Sclerosis is categorized as an autoimmune condition, where the body mistakenly attacks its own immune system, damaging the myelin sheath, which is the protective covering over nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord.

The damage to the myelin sheath is what is believed to be the cause of these MS attacks, and also causes our nerve fibers, that help communicate messages to and from the brain, to become slow, distorted, or be completely destroyed. This often leads to the progression of the disease, an increase in disability. It has been reported that 91 percent of people suffering from MS have difficulty with mobility, meaning difficulty with walking and other movements.

Since people with Multiple Sclerosis have limited mobility as the disease progresses, physical therapy helps people develop exercise programs to help slow down the progression of the symptoms of this neurological condition, as well as helping you better manage movement in the face of added disability.

Your first visit to physical therapy will consist of a complete examination to determine your areas of strength and weakness. Following the examination, your physical therapist will develop a specific exercise program for you based on your condition and goals, including a home-exercise program.

Research studies have found that people in the early stages of multiple sclerosis may experience changes in their walking ability, balance, and breathing. If ignored, these early signs can lead to further disability. When someone receives a diagnosis of MS, the best option is to begin physical therapy right away to help improve any mild challenges, and possibly slow down the progression of the symptoms of the disease.

To learn more about how physical therapy can help someone with multiple sclerosis to stay strong and mobile, call Orthopaedic Associates of Central Maryland at (410) 644-1880 to request an appointment, or request one online.

Knee Care: Knee Exercises after Surgery

Knee Care: Knee Exercises after Surgery

by Stephanie Meadows

The knee is one of the most complex and integral joints in the body, so it's no wonder pain in that area of the body can really set you back. Whether due to injury, overuse, or just grinding down over the years, knee pain can become chronic and unbearable. Literally, you cannot bear the weight of standing for too long when the pain gets so bad. In these cases, knee replacement surgery is a viable option, and the strength training that follows surgery is an important part of recovery and maintaining orthopedic health.

One of the main reasons people decide to undergo knee replacement surgery is to relieve chronic pain. However, did you know that many patients still have chronic pain after knee replacement surgery? Studies have shown, that if you want to eliminate pain overall, a knee replacement is not the only option, but in many cases the damage is done, and that damaged area needs to be replaced.

After recovering from surgery, while you may be tempted to cite your knee pain as a good reason to take some time off from the gym, it's actually important to keep moving and exercising. After surgery and surgical recovery, a physical therapist can put together a strength training program just for you.

After knee replacement surgery, once you return back home, your doctor will want you to build strength, and improve mobility. This will help increase your function and activity level, hopefully more than it was when your knee pain precipitated the need for surgery.

An exercise regimen will help strengthen the weakened muscles in your knees, with the goal of creating a properly supportive and stabilizing muscle network for your knees. Your successful recovery will depend on your rehabilitation and dedication to your physical therapy. It is recommended by doctors to exercise at least two to three times a day. Doing reps of ten of the following exercises will help relieve your chronic pain:

1. Straight or Side Leg Raises

2. Knee Flexes

3. Hamstring Curls

4. Wall squats

5. Calf Raises

6. Step-Ups

7. Leg Presses

Note, that it is important to listen to your doctor and do these exercises within moderation, and to the best of your ability. The best thing to do is keep your knee moving and flexible, and strengthen your muscles that support the knees. Don’t take the list literally and do reps of ten for each exercise down the line, rather take it as a suggestion of the different exercises that the physical therapist will have you do.

To learn more about exercises you can do to help strengthen your legs and steer clear of further knee injury, call Florida Sportsmedicine and Orthopedics at (850) 763-0346  to request an appointment, or request one online. 


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